Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion
Black Doomba Records
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 46:04
Review by Victor Augusto
My lack of creativity to write introductions is nothing new for all the readers of Ever Metal, but today I have to repeat something that I often mention in this part of my reviews. How amazing it is seeing a band’s evolution when I have the pleasure to follow them, releasing albums, since they formed. Of course, Gravehuffer, from Joplin, Missouri, are not a young band and they have very experienced musicians, but I am the lucky guy who has reviewed all of their albums since 2017, and I have to say that Gravehuffer is one of the most intriguing and challenging bands that I have reviewed so far. Let me try to explain what I am saying.
First! “NecroEclosion” is the band’s best album in my opinion! When I discovered Gravehuffer in 2017, with the “Your Fault” album, I thought they were more a Crust/Hardcore band at that time. After seeing some reviews of them, I realized that they played more than just one or two genres. They have a great mix of Extreme metal allied with their roots in Punk/Crust/Hardcore/ or whatever you want to call them. With this album, the band have explored all blends of those genres at their extreme. From Punk Rock to the non-faceless* (I will explain this later) blast beats of good Death Metal. Yes. You will have fun with it at the end of this review!
Second! This is a pure American album in terms of its concept or context. I talk regularly about the pure things of my country, but this time I tried to enter into the head of an American citizen to understand all the lyrics and all of their criticism. Lyrically this is an ocean of interesting themes. The first song ‘Custom Of The Sea’ is enough to understand Gravehuffer’s music. It is about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization. Many people went mad and died. Musically, you can hear all the aggressiveness of the band in this song with all the fast broken tempos from good Grindcore that sometimes slows down with a Doom influence. Everything offers an intense and dark atmosphere.
Third! There is the typical acid humor that Gravehuffer always use in the best way, as you hear in ‘Death Before Disco’. It starts with a funny version of ‘You Should Be Dancing’, from the Bee Gees, that shows the wreck that Disco music made of the music industry decades ago. It also criticizes the cocaine stuff involved with those who were part of it. I love the pure Grindcore and heavy killer intro after this creepy, funny parody intro. It could easily put the entire venue down if Gravehuffer plays it live! Still with good humor, the short ‘Stingray’ is more Punk Rock in style, but full of great, small solos. Yes, we have plenty of excellent and different stuff here, and I am not talking about that stuff from Disco clubs, that could make Robocop (with rusty hinges) dance like hell! (That sounds like me when I’m dancing – Rick)
Fourth (if I haven’t lost count). The Doomy side of the band appears in ‘Smaller Than Death’. ‘Ghost Dance’ also keeps the dark feeling, but it has an important message about the mass killing of the Native American Indians in the USA. Despite this song having more of a Thrash Metal sonority, it carries some backing vocals, like the ghost of the Indians ancestors screaming for help to anyone who could stand and fight. Melodies bring the feeling of a ‘last breath of hope’ amongst all the chaos, that sadly didn’t save them from the cowards killing. There are good historical and political facts explored here!
Fifth! After the pure hardcore song ‘Quarantine Death Machine’, that even reminded me of Sepultura in some parts, you get the dramatic song ‘Causes’ that sounds like someone has already given up on his life. We also have ‘Mad Wolf’ that is about a Japanese movie/manga series ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’. And what about Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain (Voivod) doing an epic solo on ‘Sight To The Sky’ or the Curran Murphy (Annihilator, Nevermore) ‘Smaller Than Death’ solo? Do you remember when I said about the ocean of different subjects or plenty of styles that the band play?
Last (almost…)! What I love about Gravehuffer is the total open mindedness of them to explore whatever they want. They could easily be called a “Whatever metal / hardcore” band to describe their music. This raw sonority allied with all the insane changes of rhythm and atmosphere they create is the perfect face of Gravehuffer. “NecroEclosion” is the band at their prime with inspiration and composition. They are secure of what they are doing, being audacious and without any fear to try new sonorities and arrangements. It is pure Thrash! It is pure Hardcore! It is pure Grindcore! It is pure Death Metal! It is pure Crust! It is pure whatever you want to call them and it is great!
This review finishes here, but don’t fool yourselves. The non-official truth about this album comes from the next and ‘true’ last paragraph.
*This last paragraph is a joke about bloody reviewers that are so lazy, they fail to understand some band’s sonority and write stupid things without doing any research. The quoted parts are from a review that should have stayed buried!
The band’s music is not even close to being “terrible”. Maybe the “not so hot production” is because the band intended the album to be dark and cold. Do you want hot things? (I will not suggest what you should try in respect of our readers)! Try not to be a faceless reviewer. First, we have a lot of context here, and you haven’t woken your ass up from your sofa to do any research about it. The blast beats are not a “total joke” they are pure and natural, with a huge amount of power…you don’t have the brain to understand what a triggered drum is or isn’t. “No catchy riffs”? No, no, no! Probably, no catchy ears on your head!… “band brought an empty meal to the table on Thanksgiving”! Do you want a full meal for your Thanksgiving (If your diet is not so restrictive, of course)? Try to learn how to understand a band first, otherwise, you can work on another job or hobby. Our Thanksgiving will be better without lazy “reviewers”! Writing reviews just to publish something, without any research to understand is wrong…I guess any person with an “F” grade on a school graduation/exam can do a better job than you! Have a good 2021!
01. Custom Of The Sea
03. Sights To The Sky
04. Death Before Disco
06. Smaller Than Death
07. Ghost Dance
08. Quarantine Death Machine
11. Mad Wolf
Travis McKenzie – Vocals
Ritchie Randall – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Jilge – Bass
Jay Willis – Drums/Vocals
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.